Saturday, April 18, 2015

Pyramid Poems-National Poetry Month!

April is "National Poetry Month"  and our class had been serendipitously preparing for all of its literary splendor.   Kindergartners were asked to challenge themselves to create a bit of their own poetry.   During a classroom discussion at Circle Time, our class decided that a poem was loosely defined as being a very "short story" and usually on one particular thought or subject. We combined the styles of "free verse "  (a poem that does not rhyme and has no set length and no meter or rhythm) combined with a touch of "diamante" (a poem with a set structure that forms a diamond) to best  describe our efforts.  Ks were challenged with the task of coming up with 1,2,3,4 and 5 word (ideally) related phrases to ultimately form the shape of what else? a pyramid.  Our poem prompt of course, was the question, "What have you learned/gained more information about during our study of Ancient Egypt?" Here are their thoughts.  (Don't forget the snaps after reading!:)

painted        box
lots       of        gold
They're      set    with      shabtis   
Even    cats    had     a      sarcophagus

palm tree
block of gold
six blocks of stone
twenty pyramids at my house
brains   out
mummies   are   creepy
mummies   lay in   sarcophaguses
pyramids    have    drawings    on    walls
spiral  ramps
There     were      three
Beams cracked during construction
Khufu's    was     the     Great       Pyramid
facing   sideways
in    a    sarcophagus
wrote      on      old      paper
They      had     bows      and      arrows
booby traps
Little Great Sphinx
Little Sphinx guards pyramids

heart  stays
in  a  sarcophagus
organs   are   taken   out
Ancient Egyptian people made pyramids

a  pyramid
people made sarcophaguses
 a               lot            of            pictures
They     used      hieroglyphics       to        talk 

creepy mummy
The beams cracked
The pharaohs had servants
servants pulled sledges up ramps

mean pharaohs
Egyptians drew a lot
servants wrote on papyrus
Egyptian children don't wear clothes

mummified boxes
houses    for   pharaohs
pyramids   were   like   houses
houses      made      out      of      sand

We are finding that the influence of the Ancient Egyptians is  everywhere!  I spotted this sculpture including the Sphinx outside of the Native American Museum near Wall Street on a recent trip to New York City!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

If (Egyptian) Walls Could Talk...

This Art lesson required drawing a full length figure from the side view.  Kindergartners applied an "eight heads tall" rule for measuring out body proportions when planning their figure's composition.  They also had a mini art lesson in drawing "profile portraits"  and applied some of their techniques from a previous Math/Art lesson on drawing frontal portraits.  

During our study of Ancient Egypt, we read that the Egyptians drew  pictures of only their elite on walls and did so in a very specific way.  The idea was that the paintings were done to represent and please the gods and that it was disrespectful to draw Egyptian royalty's faces from a frontal view.  (One exception was the  ceremonial mask.)  Also, the face was never to be obstructed  in any way.  We also noted, after studying examples of  artwork, that although the feet  faced to the side, the upper torso of the body faced forward. 

Kindergartners  kept all of these ideas in mind while sketching.  Hieroglyph symbols were included by some of the Kindergartners to enhance the borders of their drawings.  Some others cleverly applied our newly acquired knowledge of Egyptian number symbols studied in Math class as part of their design work  (l=1, n=10, swirl symbol =100.)
(Above)  Kindergartners worked for two class sessions- first to sketch their composition with pencil followed by an application of vibrant watercolor paints.   

To further enhance each piece, black sharpie markers outlined details in order to resemble the amazing artwork found on the walls inside of the actual pyramids.   I think the gods would have been pleased!

Monday, April 13, 2015

April Dates at a Glance!

This Month's Theme:  Bugs!

Friday April 3rd-10th      No School!  Spring Break!
Monday, April 13th         School resumes!
Tuesday, April 14th        Yoga with Dom, 2 P.M.
Wednesday, April 15th   Special Math lesson with Eli's Dad!
Sunday, April 19th          Celebration of Kindergarten Open House!  11-1 P.M.
Monday, April 20th         EBs begin!  1:30-2:30  (also 4/27, 5/4) & Th 4/30 & 5/7, 9-10 A.M.)
Wednesday, April 22nd  School-wide Earth Day activities
Saturday, April 25th       "Eudaimonia" Annual Scholarship Fundraiser event
Tuesday, April 28th        Yoga with Dom, 2 P.M.
Tuesday, May 5th          Cinco de Mayo cooking lesson with Dana!
Friday, May 8th              No School-Professional Development/Assessment Writing day

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

No Foolin'- Our 1st SK Fun Run was a great success!!!

Cross- age/ multi-classroom collaborations are an effective, unique and exciting feature of our school!  One example of this is when the Kindergartners participated in an all school and week long "Spirit Week" just before our Spring Break. Planning began several weeks ago when SKs Student Council Representatives, under the capable hands of the Middle School Teaching Team, gathered ideas from the Student Body about submitting all school activity ideas then eloquently presented their list to teachers during a staff meeting for feedback.  The most popular (and feasible) ideas were encouraged then the real fun began.  Students scheduled week long events including a Pajama Day, a Character Day, and a Culture Day that featured  foods shared from various parts of the world and music.
Another event took place on April Fool's Day but proved to be very clever indeed!  All of the classes including the Kindergartners, escorted by their 7th/8th Grade Buddies, met at our prepared parking lot. The whole school participated in a "Fun Run"  which consisted of all participants running one lap around the school.  Onlookers cheered them on and appeared to have just as much fun as the joggers!   The event culminated with frozen treats for everyone and an all school romp in the playground.  It was a festive time-  No foolin'!   There is even talk of this being an annual event!